Tiddlywinks is a game where small chips called winks are flicked into a receptacle. The game was traditionally associated with children, so it's appeared in a number of expressions implying that the pursuit is frivolous or straightforward. The name, which was originally trademarked as Tiddledy-Winks, has an uncertain etymology, although there are several contending origin stories. In the late nineteenth century, the singular word tidley-wink meant "unlicensed liquor store", and tiddley was a synonym for the noun "drunk", so tiddlywinks might have originated as a drinking game. These words would have an obscure dialectal origin. Alternatively, it has been proposed that tiddledy-winks was just baby-talk for "little", and that it's an arbitrary spelling of childish babbling, which could explain the large number of spelling variations.
Adam Aleksic, a rising sophomore studying linguistics and government at Harvard University, has been described as the internet's sixth most famous etymologist. He also has disturbing interests in politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, and law.